The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre is working on the first global assessment of the impacts on soil biodiversity of both anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic pressures.

Several pressures act on soils and their biodiversity at the global scale, and their impact can be heterogeneous. In order to set priorities and enhance the potential for sustainable management, we are carrying out a survey to incorporate expert judgements.

In this survey, we will ask for information on your background and experience, and then ask you to evaluate the relative magnitude of threats to soil organisms with regard to the biome(s) on which you work. Please note that there are no right or wrong answers; we are simply asking for your assessment based on your knowledge and expertise.

Due to the current lack of large-scale assessments, soil biodiversity is not yet addressed in international conservation plans. Our assessment aims to start filling this gap. In order to develop conservation practices, protection priorities need to be established based on knowledge of the pressures on biodiversity. This will help identify areas that require better management and/or specific measures to preserve soil biodiversity.

The result of this survey will allow us to rank the main pressures on soil life and map their distribution at the global scale. Our team is currently developing spatially explicit maps of each pressure throughout the planet. Your input will be essential for determining how to weight each pressure in the cumulative impact maps that we will produce. The resulting first risk map will be proposed as a new resource to stimulate the discussion and promote the development of new conservation guidelines that include soil biodiversity within conservation plans.

The survey consists of five main sections, and should take approximately 30 minutes to complete:

- PART I: Biographic and professional information;

- PART II: Scenario comparisons to assess the relative importance of the impact of different pressures;

- PART III: Rating the pressure effects of each impact component based on how much they impact your reference group(s) of soil organisms in your reference biome(s);

- PART IV: Ranking of specific pressures based on how much they impact the group(s) of soil organisms in the biome(s) with which you are familiar;

- PART V: Data availability for map validation.

Concepts and terms will be explained throughout the survey, but please feel free to contact us (Alberto Orgiazzi – for any clarification.

The survey can be completed using this online version. If you prefer to use a hard copy, you can download a Word version ( and send the completed and scanned version back to us by email:

Your participation is voluntary and your feedback will remain anonymous. Responses will be stored securely and assigned a random identifier to allow us to conduct analyses without accessing any personal information. The list of participants will be shared only within the team involved in the project. You may skip question(s), as desired. Please understand that by returning the survey to us you are agreeing to take part in this study.

Bear in mind that our analysis is restricted to the present-day effects of pressures. Please focus your responses on a temporal horizon covering the past fifteen years, rather than on projections into the future. This means that your evaluation should be based on results from your past research and/or personal knowledge of the pertinent and recent literature.

Your responses are essential for determining how to weight each pressure in the cumulative impact maps that we will produce. Therefore, your participation in this process is highly appreciated.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us (Alberto Orgiazzi -


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